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St. Bernard Australian Shepherd Mix: Care, Pictures, Info, & More

Written by: Kit Copson

Last Updated on April 10, 2024 by Dogster Team

St. Bernard Australian Shepherd Mix: Care, Pictures, Info, & More

Unlike well-known mixes like Labradoodles and Maltipoos, the Saint Bernard-Australian Shepherd mix is a hybrid that only comes along once in a while. This mix descends from breeds with long and exciting histories, a solid work ethic, and great big personalities to boot, so brace yourselves!

Stay tuned to learn more about this unusual hybrid’s progenitors and what it might be like to let a Saint Bernard-Australian Shepherd into your world.

Breed Overview

Height:

20–30 inches

Weight:

50–150 pounds (approximately, maybe more)

Lifespan:

10–15 years

Colors:

Black, red, blue merle, red merle, brown & white, red & white, mahogany & white, orange & white, brindle & white, rust & white, white & brown, white & orange, white & red

Suitable for:

Anyone committed to properly socializing, training, and exercising a large, highly intelligent dog

Temperament:

Highly intelligent and hardworking, other traits range from very active and always in need of a job (Australian Shepherd) to mellow and patient (Saint Bernard)

The Australian Shepherd is a medium-sized dog that ranges in height from 18–23 inches, whereas the Saint Bernard is a giant dog that stands between 26 and 30 inches. On that basis, the Saint Bernard-Australian Shepherd mix can vary in height but is likely to be somewhere in the middle of these figures.

The same goes for weight—while a female Australian Shepherd can weigh as little as 40 pounds, a fully-grown male Saint Bernard can weigh up to 180 pounds. A diverse range of coat colors is possible, and the dog may inherit blue eyes or heterochromia (different colored eyes), which are common Australian Shepherd traits. Facial features and head size may also vary depending on which genes are stronger.

St. Bernard Australian Shepherd Mix Characteristics

Energy
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High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Trainability
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Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Health
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Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Lifespan
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Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Sociability
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Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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St. Bernard Australian Shepherd Mix Puppies

Finding these puppies from a breeder isn’t easy because they’re not very common. Australian Shepherd mix puppies tend to cost between $300 and upwards of $1,000 to buy from breeders, and Saint Bernard mixes are likely to fall within the same range. Alternatively, you might consider adopting a mixed breed from a rescue organization.

Unfortunately, large dogs like Saint Bernards are sometimes relinquished because people take them in without fully understanding the level of care these dogs need (the cost of food, commitment to socialization and training, etc.). At the same time, highly energetic and intelligent dogs like Australian Shepherds are sometimes given up because people find they don’t have the time to offer them the mental stimulation they need.

For these reasons, we recommend looking around local shelters, as you could just find the dog of your dreams, whether mixed or purebred. Some adoption organizations specialize in Saint Bernards and Australian Shepherds specifically.

The Parent Breeds of the Saint Bernard Australian Shepherd Mix
Image By: (L) Aneta Jungerova, Shutterstock | (R) Maud Slaats, Unsplash

Temperament & Intelligence of the Saint Bernard Australian Shepherd Mix

Are These Dogs Good for Families?🏡

A dog’s family friendliness depends on how well they’ve been socialized. It’s easy to imagine a Saint Bernard-Australian Shepherd mix fitting well into a committed and active family that understands the importance of treating dogs with respect and properly socializing them.

Both parent breeds often greatly enjoy interacting with people through play and physical touch. Australian Shepherds are known for having sharp brains and being playful and energetic, which often makes them great companions for sensible children.

They are sometimes said to find it difficult to resist their natural herding instincts, so this is something to watch out for in your mix—they might start herding you, your kids, or other pets!

As for Saint Bernards, these dogs are famously devoted family members who are very aware of their size, so are gentle and patient with kids as a rule. Again, this isn’t a given—your dog has to be trained and socialized to ensure their best traits can flourish. You also can’t guarantee what kind of personality your dog will have because traits vary so much, regardless of breed or parent breeds.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?🐶 😽

When it comes to introducing a new dog to your home, properly introducing them to your resident animals is the key to harmonious cohabitation. Socializing a dog with other pets is much easier if the dog is a puppy, but it’s still possible with adult dogs depending on their personality and past experiences.

If you have a rescue dog in mind, the rescue association can help you decide whether said dog would be a good match for your other pets’ personalities.

One thing to bear in mind is that Australian Shepherds have a high prey drive, so they might struggle to resist the urge to give chase if you have other pets, especially smaller animals like cats or rabbits. It’s important to closely supervise interactions and work on this consistently if your mix inherits this trait to keep your other pets safe.

As mentioned, this will be easier with puppies. As for adopted adult mixes, it’s ideal if they have a history of getting along well with other animals and are introduced gradually and under close supervision.

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Things to Know When Owning a St. Bernard Australian Shepherd Mix:

Food & Diet Requirements🦴

If you plan to bring home an Australian Shepherd-Saint Bernard mix, note that these dogs tend to be medium-large in size (or sometimes just plain large!), and larger dogs simply need to eat more than a small dog would. You may need to be prepared to spend more on larger or multiple bags of food to keep up with your dog’s needs.

You might want to consider a formula designed for large dogs, but this depends on your dog’s size—some Saint Bernard-Australian Shepherd mixes might be medium-sized, like the Australian Shepherd. Speak to your vet or consult the information on the food packaging to make sure the formula is suitable for your dog’s weight.

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Exercise🐕

The Australian Shepherd and Saint Bernard are both active dogs, but their energy levels differ somewhat. While Australian Shepherds are always on the go and make great running partners as adults, Saint Bernards love a good long walk but tend to be a little more chilled out than Aussies. On that basis, your mix could go one way or the other.

Whatever the case, your mix should have at least one long walk and a few play sessions per day. The rest, you can adapt to your dog’s energy levels. Highly energetic dogs need around 2 hours of physical exercise per day as adults. Avoid strenuously exercising puppies, though—this can be very damaging to their developing joints.

Training🦮

It’s very important to start work on training as soon as you bring a new dog home to ensure they become well-mannered adults with a good sense of boundaries. This is crucial for all dogs, but even more so for large dogs and dogs famous for their high energy levels. Luckily, both parent breeds of this mix typically respond well to training as long as you’re consistent and don’t let anything slide.

Australian Shepherds, in particular, are highly intelligent, which is great for training, but they will without a doubt walk all over an inexperienced trainer lacking in firmness and consistency. Work in brief, 10–15 minute sessions at a time, and be sure to reward and praise the behaviors you want to see.

Avoid harsh punishments and don’t yell at your dog for mistakes—this just won’t work and may make your dog fearful of you, which is not the way you want to go.

Grooming ✂️

Both Australian Shepherds and Saint Bernards have double coats, so a mix of the two breeds will inherit this trait. That means that come shedding season, the undercoat will start to fall out and you’ll need a decent de-shedding tool to tackle this and prevent it from floating all around your house. You can expect this mix to lose quite a bit of hair during shedding seasons and shed moderately throughout the year.

Outside of shedding seasons, a thorough weekly brush should do the trick. Don’t forget to trim your Saint Bernard-Australian Shepherd mix’s nails or get them trimmed by a groomer when needed.

Health and Conditions❤️

Because the Australian Shepherd-Saint Bernard is a mix of two breeds, we can only look into the health conditions that sometimes affect the parent breeds to get an idea of what this mix might inherit.

To be clear, in spite of the common belief that mixed breeds are healthier, studies have shown that mixed breeds are just as likely as purebred dogs to inherit certain conditions, including cancer and hip dysplasia. Some of the conditions associated with Australian Shepherds and Saint Bernards include:

Minor Conditions
  • Mild dry issues that receive treatment
  • Mild common dog cold
Serious Conditions
  • Bloat & gastric dilation-volvulus (GDV)
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Eye conditions
  • Epilepsy
  • Cancer, especially lymphoma and bone cancer
  • Heart conditions

Male vs Female

Usually, male dogs are a bit bigger than females. As for personality, there’s no way to tell what your dog will be like until you meet them. Female dogs are sometimes said to be a little more independent and “mature” than males, whereas males are more outgoing and clingy, but these are purely generalizations and don’t apply to every dog. The only differences between male and female dogs that you can guarantee are related to whether or not they’re intact (not spayed or neutered).

Unneutered male dogs can become uncooperative, difficult to manage, and especially territorial when a female is about for hormonal reasons. This is triggered by the scent of female dogs in heat because it makes males want to seek them out. Females in heat tend to urinate more and experience bleeding from the vulva. They can also behave in ways they usually wouldn’t, like licking themselves excessively, vocalizing more, becoming more clingy, or becoming more agitated than usual.

Consider speaking to your vet about getting your dog spayed (female) or neutered (male) to help prevent accidental unwanted pregnancies, certain health conditions (like testicular cancer in males and mammary cancer in females), and unpleasant behaviors associated with sexual hormones.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Saint Bernard Australian Shepherd Mix

1. Saint Bernards Were Developed by Monks

Today’s Saint Bernards descend from dogs that hospice monks in the Alps developed for search and rescue missions. These dogs’ keen noses could pick up the scent of people buried in the mountain snow. Saint Bernards rescued more than 2,000 people in the time worked as rescue dogs.


2. Australian Shepherds Appear in Rodeos

These popular ranch dogs still sometimes entertain in rodeos thanks to their capacity for learning tricks.


3. Saint Bernards Didn’t Actually Carry Casks of Brandy

It’s commonly thought that rescue Saint Bernards carried brandy casks around their necks to warm those they rescued from the snow, but this isn’t true. The myth started when a young artist, Edwin Landseer, painted two Saint Bernards on a rescue mission. One was carrying a brandy cask.

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Final Thoughts

If you’re ever lucky enough to come across a Saint Bernard-Australian Shepherd mix, you’re sure to meet a dog with a big personality and an even bigger heart. Please consider reaching out to local rescue organizations—which are full of (some very unique) mixed-breed dogs—to find the pooch of your dreams.

See Also:


Featured Image Credit: Bianca Grueneberg, Shutterstock

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